Looking to add some sun-kissed colour to your complexion? Whether preparing for summer or chasing the winter blues away, knowing how to pick a bronzer to suit your skin is a skill worth mastering. And in this bumper bronzing guide, we'll tell you EXACTLY how it's done!
From how to find the right shade for your skin's undertones, to picking the best type of bronzer for you, we've included all the info you need to know. Before you try to get your glow on.
Bronzed before with not-so-beautiful results? Fear not. We've included our tried-and-tested tips for goof-proof bronzer application – so keep reading to learn more!
Picking the Right Bronzer Shade & Formula
Before zeroing in on your bronzer, consider your skin profile—undertone, colour, type, as well as the kind of product you’re looking for. Maybe blemishes have you feeling blue (or red), and you want a more even skin tone that won’t take all year to achieve?
Some beauties might make it look easy, but let’s be real—creating that beachy, bronzed look at home is hard. Pinpointing the right shade alone takes trial and error for even the most experienced beauty experts. There are also different formulas and finishes to consider based on your skin type. It’s a lot to think about, so let’s break it down.
To choose the right bronzer, you need to know your skin’s undertones. Unsure where to start? Here’s a simple shortcut: take a look at your veins. If they have a greenish tinge, then you have a warm undertone. If they look blue or purple, then your undertone’s cool. Somewhere in between? You have a neutral undertone or an undertone roughly the same hue as your skin tone.
This won’t be a hard and fast rule for everyone. But it’s a good rule of thumb for getting off on the right track with picking your ideal shade.
Fun tip—your undertone can also help you choose between gold or silver jewellery! Silver looks best with cool undertones, while gold matches beautifully with warmer skin. (You’re welcome.)Bronzer Colour Matching Cheat Sheet
Here’s a quick checklist for matching your bronzer with your undertone. Note that if you go too dark, what was meant to be a lovely glow can end up looking muddy!
Warm Undertone: Go for a warmer bronzer colour like mocha, golden-brown, or something with a hint of colour such as yellow or burgundy. When choosing a warm option, know that it can still look lightweight and fresh!
Cool Undertone: Choose beiges, lighter tans, or even a soft peach. Slight warmth here can work to add depth—but be careful not to go too warm! Picture a pale pink rose. Anything past lighter rose and you’re nearing danger territory.
- Neutral Undertone: Avoid anything too yellow or too pink. Neutral undertones are notoriously tricky to harmonise with, though brown-based bronzers tend to have the most success.
Make sure your bronzer colour complements your undertones as much as possible —as this will give your skin a lively, natural glow. Picking a warmer shade if your skin has cool undertones, for example, can make you look unusually orange. And you’ve probably heard it before, but when choosing a bronzer, always go one or two shades darker than your natural skin tone.
Types of Bronzers
Choosing the right shade is all about skin tone and undertone. But, that’s just the first choice made. Now you need to choose the type of formula—and there are a lot of different bronzer formulas out there! Think mousses, creams, sprays, powders, lotions and gels. Some are gradual, others are instant and quick to dry. If you’ve ever wondered how to choose a bronzer, see below for a breakdown:
Dry skin? Go with a cream, liquid, or gel. A good bronzer for drier skin should add a pleasant lift to a dull complexion.
Oily skin? Avoid cream and liquid, as well as options that are especially bright and shiny. Instead, opt for a powder or gel bronzer to counteract your skin’s natural shine and give it a scintillating warmth.
- Normal to combination skin? You can’t go wrong with powder bronzers and mousses. Other types may work, too. Just test them out first or stick with what’s already been successful.
If you’re looking for a good, all-around bronzer that will nourish your skin while delivering a goddess-level glow, check out our cruelty-free, vegan summer favourite—the Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam. We created it using our stellar Cellushape formula, with its amazing anti-ageing and anti-cellulite benefits. Plus, it smells amazing (hello, mango and guava!)
How to Apply Bronzer
We get it. Life is short. You don’t want to spend all day applying, removing, and re-applying bronzer. Just to leave the house with shaky confidence and a ho-hum complexion.
So, here are a few tips for applying bronzer that will ensure you enjoy flawless results. Every time.
Exfoliate before application. This clears away impurities from your pores and prevents dirt from mixing in and muddying the glow of your best bronzer.
Reapply as needed. Don’t overdo it, but areas like the hands and face are more prone to smudging or wiping off over time.
- Moisturise your skin and don’t exfoliate after applying. Post-bronzer exfoliation will wipe a lot of it away which, you know, kind of defeats the purpose!
If you’re applying bronzer to your face, give a little extra love to your cheekbones and your face’s natural contours. Sculpting around your temples and jawline will add definition. And if you're feeling tired? Use a slightly lighter shade on your face to perk up your complexion.
Bronzing at Home and Beyond
You made it! Your face and body are, hopefully, nicely bronzed and ready for an adventure to the beach. (Or library. But hey, that’s cool too!) With these tips, you should be more confident in knowing how to pick a bronzer. Still have questions or looking for some inspiration? Check out the Coco & Eve blog for more essential beauty routine tips, or explore our shop to find your next go-to tanning kit.
Edited by: Vidhya